For many women, a trip to The Dubai Mall's Level Shoe District is a true test of willpower. Turn after turn, pumps, platforms and peep-toes vie for your attention and cry out to be taken home. Of the more than 200 labels - Giuseppe Zanotti, Balmain and Tory Burch among them - the newest brand on the block is something of a showstopper. This week, Madonna's provocatively named Truth or Dare range goes on display, to the relief of fans who have been calling the mall for weeks, hoping to reserve a pair of her toe-capped studded stilettos or whimsical petal-heeled sandals.
We got the low-down from Rania Masri, the general manager of Fashion Concepts at Chalhoub Group and the lady responsible for bringing Her Madgesty's shoes to our shores.
How would you sum up the collection?
There's a real mix of feminine and rock elements. There's really something for everyone. It's an edgy but girlie collection with everything from pointy heels to booties. There are designs in leather and canvas, from classic black to neon colours, exciting yellows and bright pinks - all very much on trend. It has that all important rock-chic element that I would say really represents Madonna.
Did she really design the shoes herself?
Yes, it's completely her vision. Much like all the big celebrities who create and endorse shoes such as Gwen Stefani for Lamb, for example. This is very much Madonna's collection. Of course, I can't say whether she did the final technical drawings herself, but she was definitely very involved in the whole process.
Madonna is a mother of four in her 50s. Is that the demographic she is targeting?
At Level Shoe District, we never look at a specific demographic or age group. Madonna is in her 50s but any woman who has a similarly vibrant attitude would definitely feel very good in these shoes.
Is the Queen of Pop expected to visit her boutique in the UAE?
Definitely. We are in talks with her management company and it's something we'd like to do at some point.
Truth or Dare shoes by Madonna are now available at Level Shoe District in sizes 36-41. Prices start at Dh550 a pair
Rest & recharge
The foot specialist Margaret Dabbs has brought her Sole Lounge concept to the UAE from the iconic store Liberty of London.
Housing her unique brand of foot pampering in the heart of The Dubai Mall's footwear emporium is, frankly, inspired and all 1,130 square feet of it can be found right in the middle of the shoe-shopping action, opposite the Vogue Café.
poil yourself with a signature medical pedicure and oxygenated foot spa in one of the private treatment rooms or segregated male-female areas. As you would hope, all the treatments use Dabbs's award-winning Beauty for the Feet product range, with that magic ingredient of emu oil.
Cheer for chaps
Don't worry, gentlemen, there's plenty for you to peruse. The Cobbler features bespoke craftsmanship at its best in the surroundings of an old gentleman's club.
If you find something traditional and reassuring about a hand-finished pair of Oxfords or high-shine dress shoes, then this is the place to find them. The boutique also carries out after-care and repair services that include leather resoling, re-heeling and even putting a patina on your favourite pair of shoes.